Predictors of hepatitis B and C virus reactivation in patients with psoriasis treated with biologic agents: a 9-year multicenter cohort study

Published:December 07, 2019DOI:


      The increasing use of biologics is accompanied by a risk of hepatitis B (HBV) and C virus (HCV) reactivation.


      To determine the predictors of HBV and HCV reactivation in patients with psoriasis receiving biologics.


      This study screened 2060 patients with psoriasis (3562 treatment episodes) who were taking biologics from 2009 to 2018. There were 359 patients with psoriasis with HBV (561 treatment episodes) and 61 with HCV infection (112 treatment episodes).


      During 8809 and 1522 person-months of follow-up, 88 treatment episodes for HBV involved HBV reactivation, and 14 episodes of HCV involved reactivation. The reactivation rate was significantly higher in treatment episodes of chronic HBV infection than in that of occult HBV (34.3% vs 3.2%, P = .001) and resolved HBV (34.3% vs 5.0%, P < .001). The multivariate analysis revealed that being hepatitis B surface antigen seropositive, being hepatitis B e-antigen seropositive, and tumor necrosis factor-α–inhibitor therapy were risk factors for HBV reactivation, whereas antiviral prophylaxis was effective in reducing the risk of HBV reactivation. No predictors were significantly associated with HCV reactivation.


      Observational design and a lack of a comparison group.


      Patients with psoriasis on biologics have a risk of HBV and HCV reactivations, particularly those who are seropositive for hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis B e-antigen and undergoing tumor necrosis factor-α–inhibitor therapy.

      Key words

      Abbreviations used:

      ALT (alanine transaminase), CHBV (chronic HBV infection), HBcAb (hepatitis B core antibody), HBeAg (hepatitis B e-antigen), HBsAb (hepatitis B surface antibody), HBsAg (hepatitis B surface antigen), HBV (hepatitis B virus), HBVr (HBV reactivation), HCV (hepatitis C virus), HCVr (HCV reactivation), IL (interleukin), IL-12/23i (interleukin-12/23 inhibitor), IL-17i (interleukin-17 inhibitor), RA (rheumatoid arthritis), TE (treatment episode), TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor-α), TNFi (tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitor)
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